Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared: Additional Views of Senators Lieberman, Levin, Akaka, Carper and Lautenberg on White House Katrina Failures, Administration Lack of Cooperation with the Investigation, and Failure to Establish Unified Command   [open pdf - 308KB]

"The Committee's efforts to understand the role the White House played in events leading up to and following the catastrophe were severely hindered by the White House's failure to comply with Committee requests for information, documents, and interviews. As a result, we learned much too little about what the White House and the Executive Office of the President were doing during the critical days before and after Katrina struck. Based on the information the Committee was able to obtain, we have reached the following conclusions. (1) As the head of the federal government, the President has a unique responsibility to ensure government preparedness and response at critical times. For Hurricane Katrina, the President failed to provide critical leadership when it was most needed, and that contributed to a grossly ineffective federal response to Hurricane Katrina. (2) The White House was aware long before Katrina struck that FEMA did not have the capability to handle a catastrophe, but failed to adequately address the critical shortcomings in preparedness. (3) The White House had been aware of the 'New Orleans Scenario,' a catastrophic hurricane hitting New Orleans. Despite this awareness, the White House failed to ensure that the federal government was prepared to respond to this catastrophic scenario. (4) Despite the clear warnings before landfall that Katrina would be catastrophic, the President and the White House staff were not sufficiently engaged and failed to initiate a sufficiently strong and proactive response. (5) Although the President and the White House were following events after landfall, they seemed surprisingly detached until two days later, Wednesday, August 31, 2005. (6) After the hurricane, the White House continued to demonstrate a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the catastrophe. (7) The White House's failure to cooperate with this Committee's investigation wrongly deprived the Committee and the American people of the ability to assess a key aspect of the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina." The main report can be found at: /homesec/docs/legis/nps11-050506-01

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